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Posted by on May 19, 2011.

New group forms to raise funds for city of Brookhaven study

A group of north DeKalb County residents have organized to finance a study on whether the area should become a city.

The new Citizens for North DeKalb Inc. plan to become a 501(c)(3) organization and raise money to pay for a study of the feasibility of incorporating the area, said Doug Dykhuizen, a resident of the Murphey Candler area who is a member of the new organization’s board.

Dykhuizen said the new group counts “a baker’s dozen, 13 or 14” residents as members.

“Our mission is … to commission the study to examine the city of Brookhaven and raise funds to pay for it,” Dykhuizen said. “We want to examine whether or not cityhood is even financially feasible before we go further down the road examining whether it’s something we as a community want to do.”

Dykhuizen, a board member of the Murphey Candler Homeowners Association, said the topic of creating a new city had come up in discussions when Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-DeKalb), who is a neighbor, met with the group.

During the last legislative session, Jacobs introduced legislation allowing the creation of a city of Brookhaven in the area of DeKalb County between Chamblee, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Earlier in the session, he had introduced legislation allowing the area to vote on annexation into a neighboring city.

The proposals have drawn criticism from some residents who have questioned whether a city is financially feasible in the area Jacobs outlined.

The study will be conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, Jacobs has said.

Jacobs recently announced he plans to hold a community meeting on May 24 to allow residents to question a representative of the Vinson Institute about the study. The meeting will be held at the Lupton Auditorium at Oglethorpe University and will begin at 7 p.m., Jacobs said.

Dykhuizen said the citizens’ group intends to raise the money needed to pay for the study. He said they have not determined how much the study will cost, how long it would take or what terms of payment the institute will require.

“Those are the kinds of details we’ve yet to work out,” Dykhuizen said.

He said he expected the study would take two months or more to complete, depending on its scope. Its findings could determine whether residents decide to continue efforts to create a new city to join Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Milton, Johns Creek and Chattahoochee Hills as new municipalities in the metro Atlanta area.

“If it’s not really financially feasible,” he said, “then for all intents and purposes it’s over.”

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